Keep things in perspective. It’s a motto that works for sports and for life. Some of us need to be reminded about perspective more often than others. Given my favorite team’s misfortunes, I may as well have those words marked on every page of my Orioles desk calendar.
Rather than focus on the day-to-day frustrations of the Birds’ 14th consecutive losing season, I’m attempting to consider the big picture and keep things in perspective. After all, how bad could it be? Well ...
* The Orioles’ streak of losing seasons is the second-longest streak of losing seasons in baseball. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who after threatening to end 18 consecutive seasons of misery now look to be working on a 19th losing season, own the longest streak. The Pirates may provide another year of cover for the Orioles after all, so I suppose it technically could be worse.
* The St. Louis Browns, the pre-cursor to the Orioles, were so accustomed to losing that the team’s struggles were folded into the city’s credentials: St Louis - “First in booze, first in shoes, last in the American League.” The Browns’ longest streak of losing seasons was 12 from 1930 through 1941. Anyone have ideas for a Baltimore slogan?
* The Orioles have had seven different managers since 1998, their first of 14 losing seasons. The franchise’s seventh manager after moving to Baltimore in 1954 was Joe Altobelli, who took over in 1983.
* The O’s current streak of losing seasons is one short of the number of football seasons the Ravens have played in Baltimore.
The last time the Orioles had a winning season ...
* Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals and Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds were still two years away from playing together for the San Diego Sting in the 11-under baseball nationals.
* Bill Clinton was president, and the public knew nothing about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
* iTunes had yet to be created.
* The BackRub search engine got a name change to Google.
* Justin Bieber was three years old
It seems I still need to work on of keeping things in perspective.
Matthew Taylor blogs about the Orioles at Roar from 34. His ruminations about the Birds appear as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our site. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.